Rescue workers have been pumping water out of a coal mine in southern Turkey all night as relatives wait anxiously nearby after surging waters trapped 18 Turkish miners deep underground.

Turkish news agencies say Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan cancelled a national holiday reception and was to visit the town of Ermenek in Karaman province where the mine is located later Wednesday.

Turkish officials say the workers' chances of survival are slim unless they managed to reach a safety gallery but about 20 miners did escape Tuesday. Rescue workers were using huge pipes to pump water from 350 meters (380 yards) underground.

Turkey's emergency agency says a broken pipe in the mine caused the flooding but did not elaborate. The incident has renewed questions about Turkey's poor workplace safety.